Michelle Banks, a senior at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, won $1,500 in this year's Arts Recognition and Talent Search (ARTS).
The competition, sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, attracted more than 5,000 high school seniors who perform in dance, music, theater, visual arts and writing.
Banks was one of the 30 participants invited to perform in Miami in January.
For her entry, Banks performed scenes from Shakespeare's plays and from the play, "Colored Girls." Her sign language was interpreted by Carol Pace of the District.
Banks also has been selected for the Kennedy Center Youth Ensemble. She will appear in March in an ARTS-sponsored program at the French Embassy with Allison Gompf. Gompf is a Model Secondary School graduate who entered last year's ARTS and was the first deaf participant ever awarded a prize. The two will perform a scene from a "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Banks hopes to enter college this fall and study fashion design or computer science. She is a graduate of Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, which, like her high school, is a federally funded school for the deaf on the campus of Gallaudet College.